Wednesday 29 February 2012

Millstone Edge

This photo shows a long abandoned millstone. Over the years, the gritstone edges in Derbyshire have been an important source of stone for such uses as millstones and gateposts. The bulk of the quarrying took place along the hilltops above Hathersage, but the quarry at Millstone Edge was the biggest of them all. Work here began in medieval times and continued through to about one hundred years ago.

There is plenty of evidence of the workings, both in the remains left behind and on the rockface itself.

These are drill holes for the placing of the explosive charges used to blast away the rock face.

Now, it is a great place for climbing - but not for beginners. The routes here are hard!

Tuesday 28 February 2012

(A soccer duck!) Yl cream ー t'at Aberdeen

A brief interlude today, while I take a leaf from the book of Alan at News from Nowhere and have a little fun with Google Translate.

Alan typed the lyrics of verse one of Danny Boy into Google translate and, after a little wander from

'English to Chinese, then from Chinese to Yiddish, from Yiddish to Hindi, Hindi to Japanese, and then finally back from Japanese to English'

came up with a lyrical alternative to the traditional Irish ballad.

First, I tried it with that famous poem of William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

It took Chinese, Thai, Russian, Japanese, Greek, Vietnamese, Hebrew and Hindi to come up with a dancing tree. Watch out for low flying roots!:

I was lonely as a cloud.
Keep the valley and mountains.
I once saw a crowd.
Ministry of Daffodils.
Lake under the tree.
Tree, dancing in the air.

I think that our government would be much improved through the addition of a Ministry of Daffodils!

I learned from the experience and began again; something a little less obvious this time

Speed, bonnie boat, like a bird on the wing,
Onward! the sailors cry;
Carry the lad that's born to be King
Over the sea to Skye.

Alan had gone Irish, so I thought I'd try a little Scots ballad. Now, I peeked at the English after every translation, moving from Hindi, directly to Chinese, Japanese and Urdu, to this:

Birds, larger aircraft's speed, branches
Go! The sailors cry.
Bring about the birth of the boy king
Sea Skye.

with visions of Polish noblewoman Maria Clementina Sobieska being sped across the sky in a Jumbo jet, cheered on by watching sailors, racing towards Skye to give birth to the Bonnie Prince - making significant changes to the course of British history en route.

Still not quite satisfied, a quick whizz through Chinese and Japanese brought me to this

The old man, he played
He played my drum accessories.
Imbalance and small rice,
The bones of the dog,
This old man was rolling in the house.

I'm sure you can figure my starting point!

But are you able to track this one back to its original. (I confess to it having the school bus additions - translated in the brackets).

I you, I was miles please refer to your
Yl cream  t'at Aberdeen
I you, I was miles please refer to your
Miles here, so I please refer to the (your pants) you,
(Came from?) Bar t'at Ilkley parking
(Came from?) Bar t'at Ilkley parking
(A soccer duck!) Yl cream  t'at Aberdeen

Answers on a postcard to...

Or, alternatively, leave a comment :)

(Apologies for the background highlighting. Copying and pasting snippets of text really mucks up the formatting! I've minimised the damage as much as I am able and bumped up the font size for ease of reading))

Sunday 26 February 2012

Stanage Plantation and a total 'legend'

From reading my blog over the past three weeks (or so) it would be easy to get the impression that I've moved up to Cumbria. I haven't honest! (Though I have been up 4 times since New Year; 2 day trips and 2 short stays and, guess where I am at the moment - LOL - so more Cumbria photos to come before too long!).

For the moment though, the photos are nearer to home. Mark has been down for Reading Week and, between sessions of writing an assignment, we have taken a couple of trips up to the 'Edges'.

This is Stanage Plantation, where there is some rather fine bouldering. The sun shone so, in spite of a rather strong breeze, it was a pleasantly warm day.

Both lads climbed Pebble Arete (V2-3 highball)

and then spent about an hour working on Deliverance (V8) which is significantly more difficult and ends with a 'dyno' (dynamic move - i.e. jump) to reach (or not) the top. The top of Deliverance is centre of the face of the boulder above. It's easily identified by the large white chalk mark deposited from all of the hands which have not quite reached. They added a few more layers :)

A bit more bouldering.

The variety of colour on the gritstone is appealing.

Later in the day, the blue sky disappeared :(

As you can see, we stayed until it was dark. We hadn't intended to, but the lads were climbing a tricky route (with ropes, on the actual Edge) and it took a while. As they both 'lead' the route (placing protection and clipping in they climbed), they then had to abseil down to collect everything they had left jammed into the cracks in the rock. 

We walked back down to the car by headtorch, only to discover a locked barrier across the entrance to the car park. EEEEP!

At this point, I would like to make clear that the end time on my ticket said 23.00 and it was only actually 19.00 (though there was a sign warning of locking at 18.00 ooops!!). 

While I loaded the boot, envisaging a night in the car and a very awkward morning phone call to explain why I was not at work!!!), Ben rang the 'Emergency' number on the pay and display machine. 

Within 5 minutes, a very cheery man had driven up from his house ("No problem. I only live two minutes away") and let us out. He wouldn't even accept a couple of quid for a beer. As Ben said, "What a Legend!!"

Saturday 25 February 2012

Gateway @ Thirlmere

Walk through this slightly crooked gate and you will find yourself on the shores of Thirlmere; the reservoir which provides Manchester with its drinking water.

Gateway @ High Kirkgate

Another gateway for you to enjoy.

It's even been left invitingly ajar :)

This one is on High Kirkgate (between Windermere and the Kirkstone Pass) in Cumbria

Wednesday 22 February 2012

Gateway @ Brow Wood

A short while ago, I posted a photo of a gateway. It met with a surprising number of favourable comments and requests for more so, I have started gateway spotting and, at random intervals, will add another gateway post to the collection.

This one is right opposite Windermere School in Cumbria.

Monday 20 February 2012

Newlands Pass

The road between Keswick and Buttermere climbs up the Newlands Valley and over Newlands Pass. I'll leave you to enjoy these photos I took at the top.

This whole waterfall had a core of  ice, over which we could see a thin sheen of running water.

And, by the side of the road, water dribbling down off the fells had frozen solid.

Sunday 19 February 2012


This is Blencathra, between Keswick and Penrith, taken from the road above Ullswater.

(When I took the photo, I didn't notice the hi-vis guy on the roof)

...and here, taken from the main A66 heading towards Keswick.

Saturday 18 February 2012

A tale of two seasons

Continuing up towards Kirkstone Pass, we pulled into a small lay-by which we have stopped in once before, giving me the opportunity to compare the view in two seasons.

and again...

It looks quite different!

Thursday 16 February 2012

Climbing out of Windermere

Just a few miles north of Fell Foot, we did run into a patch with a thin covering of snow. Here we are climbing out of Windermere on the A592, Kirkstone Pass road, heading in the general direction of Penrith (our ultimate destination).

Looking north...

... and being watched!

These two weren't interested in us at all, in spite of all the weird noises I was making to try and make them look up.

Wednesday 15 February 2012

Lakeside from Fell Foot

Believe it or not, this is still Cumbria but I've changed visit. The next series of posts are photographs which were taken exactly one week ago today, when Ben went up there for an interview.

There was less snow around than I expected., most of it seeming to have fallen down the east side of the UK, but this photo of Lakeside (on the south west shore of Windermere) still has a vaguely Alpine feel to it.

The boats run trips up and down the lake. It's a while since we've done the journey, but it's definitely worth buying a ticket for the complete round trip because you can make a full day of it, stopping off at various locations around the lake.

From memory, there are three boats; Swan, Teal and Tern. I think the bigger of the two moored here is Swan.

The photo is taken from Fell Foot, a National Trust property on the southern tip of the lake. We had hoped to call in for a coffee but it was closed due to icy conditions.

Tuesday 14 February 2012

Around Rydal

On the last day of my stay with Mark, he had a lecture at Rydal Cave by the shores of Rydal Water. While he was there, I took the opportunity for a stroll along the shore of the lake.
(I would show you a picture of the cave, but it had a crowd of students standing in its mouth and I didn't want to cause embarrassment.)

His lecture was the last of the afternoon; the sun was sinking and the light beginning to fade from the sky.

At various points, becks would come tumbling down from the hillside, chatter over the pebbly shore and add their water to the lake.

By the time I was leaving, the temperature was well below freeing and there was a noticeable stillness in the air.

Ten more minutes before the lecture ends. I wonder if Mark thought to bring a torch.

Saturday 11 February 2012

Ambleside on a sunny Monday morning

I took so many photos during my three and a half days with Mark that it's taking me ages to share them all on here. 

This is Ambleside on a frosty Monday morning in January.

Mark groaned when I headed over the road to stand on the lower bridge and take this photo.

He said that everyone takes a photo up the beck!

Well, I wouldn't want to miss out, would I?!

Looking back along the top of the high street, there is a grand view of Loughrigg.

Thursday 9 February 2012

Rays of gold over Lingmore Fell

Between the valleys of Great Langdale and Little Langdale in Cumbria, runs the ridge of Lingmore Fell, which includes the main summit of Brown How and the tag-on peak of Side Pike. At Brown How, the fell reaches 1,540 feet; 460 feet short of being a mountain. 

The name Lingfell comes from the old Norse lyng, meaning 'heather covered'.

As the sun was sinking, the sky above Lingmore fell was infused with rays of gold.

Today, L is for light at Alphabe-Thursday with Jenny Matlock.

Monday 6 February 2012

Changing skies over Langdale Pikes

Back to Cumbria and the Langdale Valley...

Did I mention that we were at the boulders while it was gradually going dark?

With skies like these, you won't hear me complaining!